The Incredible Shrinking Gun Control Message

The Incredible Shrinking Gun Control Message

Throughout the two presidential debates and single vice-presidential debate the moderators did not ask a single question about gun control or the right to keep and bear arms. The dearth of coverage on Second Amendment issues at the debates follows a larger trend. Anti-gun lawmakers up and down the ballot, and even anti-gun organizations, have made the calculated decision to avoid gun control messaging in a year wracked by uncertainty. Americans have made clear that they are not interested in gun control in 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, law-abiding citizens have bought guns at an unprecedented rate. Through September, the FBI had processed a record-setting 28,826,449 total National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks for 2020. With three months of the year still left, 2020 has seen 456,699 more checks than any previous year. In August, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated that roughly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020.​ The polling tells the same story. Each month Gallup asks Americans "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?​" Each month since February less than 0.5 percent of respondents have answered "Guns/Gun control." Understanding that Americans have no appetite for gun control, anti-gun candidates have de-emphasized their support for new gun restrictions and gun control activists have run from the issue. Consider NRA-ILA’s recent election coverage on this topic. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has sent mailers to swing districts in […]

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